Policing Body Cameras: Policies and Procedures to Safeguard the Rights of the Accused

In response to a series of high-profile police killings of unarmed people of color, law enforcement agencies across the country began adopting body cameras as a solution to requests for more transparency and accountability. In order to study the impact of body cameras on the rights of the accused, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers established a Body Camera Task Force comprised of defense attorneys from across the country. [Released March 2017]


The Task Force heard from a wide variety of experts and studied academic reports and technical materials before compiling a list of ten recommendations to protect the rights of the accused in body camera jurisdictions. NACDL cautiously endorses the continued and wider use of body cameras if implemented with the policy recommendations outlined in this report.  With these protections in place, body cameras have the potential to better document encounters between police officers and citizens while mitigating competing concerns about their potential for misuse or abuse.

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